Generally favorable reviews - based on 16 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 16
  2. Negative: 0 out of 16
  1. This remarkable movie is really one-of-a-kind. [15 Dec 1995]
  2. Reviewed by: Kim Newman
    The City Of Lost Children is as great a film as you thought "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" was when you were five years old.
  3. 100
    As a fable, The City of Lost Children may not have a resonantly significant moral, but as a film, it is without a doubt the most incredible thing that the cinema has brought us this year. [22 Dec 1995]
  4. 100
    The City of Lost Children is a stunningly surreal fantasy, a fable of longing and danger, of heroic deeds and bravery, set in a brilliantly realized world of its own. It is one of the most audacious, original films of the year. [22 Dec 1995]
  5. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    You may end up wishing for a little less show and a lot more substance.
  6. 88
    For those who enjoy the offbeat, The City of Lost Children is worth taking the time and effort to find.
  7. Reviewed by: Joey O'Bryan
    With its fine performances, gorgeous sets, incredible special effects, imaginative story line, beautiful score (by frequent David Lynch collaborator Angelo Badalamenti), and knockout cinematography, The City of Lost Children is very much worth seeing.
  8. 75
    I am not one of you. But I have enough of you in me to pass along the word. Far out.
  9. Children, and adults with adventurous taste in movies, will find this among the most eye-popping big-screen experiences in ages.
  10. The movie is best appreciated as a collection of whimsical toys drawn from a fantasy grab bag that encompasses everything from Grimm's fairy tales to "Star Wars."
  11. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    A vibrant, bubbling cauldron of breathtaking f/x, gross-out humor and in-your-face imagery.
  12. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    At its best, the movie is coldly clever with a few brilliant warmer moments - as when someone drops an Alka Seltzer into the tank to soothe the Brain. [14 Dec 1995]
  13. Reviewed by: Georgia Brown
    City of Lost Children is so extravagantly cluttered, so packed to the portholes, it's hard to sort out, or even see, what's there. Under the overload, however, it has some perfectly lovely elements. [19 Dec 1995]
  14. I'm not really sure who would enjoy this movie.
  15. Sadly, the technical logistics seem to have impeded the dreamlike flow a movie like this requires.
  16. This delirious film is overflowing with energy and effects, but it lacks the heart and soul that would have made it important as well as impressive.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 18 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 5
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 5
  3. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. ThomasS.
    Feb 28, 2009
    My favorite movie of them all!
  2. Jun 3, 2014
    *The City of Lost Children will have you gripped throughout the entire film. *

    The amazing futurist (Steampunk?) world the story is set in
    is a delight to behold, if not weird and dark all at the same time and demands your full attention fear you loose your way with the plot!

    I love the characters in this film, they are almost straight out of Wonderland, a dark and twisted Wonderland at that. The story is a little odd, but compelling due to the strong acting and locations. Sometimes you do feel like you in some sort of twisted computer game rather than watching a film though!

    Without doubt this is a fantastic film, set in a dark wonderland of oddball characters and story lines that will keep your eyes glued from start to finish.
    Full Review »
  3. Aug 23, 2011
    This movie, wow, just wow. I absolutely love this movie. My favorite movie of all time. No kidding. The atmosphere, the actors, the story, just wow. I love movies set in different worlds that don't really classify as sci-fi or fantasy. This is one such treat. Directed and written by the same director/writer of Delicatessen and it definitely shows. If you enjoy this I'd also recommend Big Fish, Mirrormask, and Dark City. Actually scratch that, even if you don't like City of Lost Children you should watch those movies. The only drawback I could see to this movie for audiences is that it is subtitled. However that should most certainly not deter anyone from seeing it. Read a little and get enveloped in this fantastic world. Full Review »